Cancer warrior dives into harbour challenge
Martine Paterson will compete in the Newcastle Harbour Swim on Sunday.
Martine Paterson wants to make a splash in what may be her “last hurrah” at the iconic Newcastle Harbour Swim this Australia Day. The 44-year-old, a former morning radio presenter of Lake Mac Life with Martine and The Saturday Sports Edition on FM97.3, was diagnosed with a second bout of breast cancer last year. Despite already undergoing a partial mastectomy and lymph node clearance, as well as other treatment, Martine is determined to show there’s “life after a cancer diagnosis” and plans to raise money and awareness of the illness. “The ‘Big C’ – a lot of people are scared of that,” she tells Newcastle Weekly. “I’m still active; I’m a mother with five kids and I’m still young and still out working. “You can still have a life even
though you’ve got a cancer diagnosis.” Two decades ago, Martine responded to her first diagnosis with the same positive approach. She helped form Dragons Abreast, a group of adventurous women and men, many of whom have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which takes up the challenge of paddling a Dragon Boat as part of the Newcastle Hunter Dragon Boat Club. Martine now plans to be a guest speaker at the club’s 20-year celebrations next month. She says money raised from the harbour swim on Sunday 26 January will go towards registration costs for the paddling team’s entry into a Chinese New Year event in Sydney. “I co-founded Dragons Abreast with my first diagnosis of breast
cancer at the age of just 24 years old and, since it is the 20-year celebrations for Dragons Abreast and myself – of sorts – I thought this would be a fitting charity,” she says. “I am considering further surgery and treatment options, which may limit my physical capability for the future, so this is most likely the last time I will swim.” The Newcastle Harbour Swim will feature a single crossing of the harbour, which is 700 metres, from 10am, while a double crossing of 1,400 metres starts at 11am. Visit oceanswims.com for more information or to register for the event. Go to the au.gofundme.com/f/ cancer-warrior-swims-newyharbour-4-dragonsabreast if you’d like to donate to Martine’s cause. - Ben Murphy
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